Environmental Issues

The 20 Percent Solution to Nuclear Power


By Jerry CollamerFor anyone born after 1951, Nuclear Power’s been sold to you as the niftiest, cleanest, safest way to make electricity ever.  Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and now Japan’s unfortunate meltdown proves, be careful what you wish for – and or, what we’re being sold as cheap, easy, safe power -isn’t even.  Because when nukes melt, man is incapable of dousing the overheated science horror show. Deadly proof radiates “Live From Fukushima” as you read this. 

The simple-sane solution: don’t create electricity by super heating plutonium. It’s deadly crazy. Instead, let the sun, wind, or ocean waves light your kitchen, bedroom, patio, hot-tub, playroom or office. Even your car.  Nuke-bakers, aka BIG LOCAL ELECTRIC shout, “That’s absurd.  Nukes give us 15% to 20% of our electricity.” That said, sales pitches always inflate the positive. 

So, is 15% to 20% even real?  Maybe nukes only give us 10% to 15% of our home electricity? Maybe less.  Depending where you live (on the grid), just maybe your ‘home-power’ from nukes is a big fat zero.

San Clemente CA 92672, home to SONGS troubled, old, nuke pumper receives 0 (zero) electricity from it’s nukes neighbor SONGS.  Huh?

SONGS powers Riverside homes.  60-miles away.  Safely away from SONGS, as sunny San Clemente sits epicenter to any SONGS mishap.  This is double troubling for San Clemente, with SONGS holding solid last place of all (104) US nuke-plant work environments. 

10-times bad?  Pick a worse one.  You can’t.  SONGS is USA’s worst case nukes-scenario.  While San Clemente 92762 lays claim to, “The Best Climate in the World!”  Kind’a makes Safe & Sane Solar for San Clemente a no-brainer.  So why is simple-safe-solar priced out of reach of the average San Clemente home?

Because BIG LOCAL ELECTRIC prefers baking deadly plutonium into electricity no matter the cost (hello Fukushima), versus safe, passive, solar panels on every sunny SoCal roof top.  I repeat, every SoCal roof top.  Let me repeat that: every single roof. 

Solar panels-on-roofs – vs multi-billion dollar, impossibly complicated nuclear generation, that potentially can kill a society, poison earth, air and water, all in one unplanned “never happen here” meltdown. 

Which would you choose if you could: Solar, or those sickening meltdown visuals radiating from Japan?  So here’s my 20% Solution to never having a nuclear meltdown: 1) walk thru your house. 2) Count 10-light switches. 3) 2 of the 10 – never turn on again. That’s 20%. You just erased BIG LOCAL ELECTRIC’s excuse for having nuke-plants…anywhere – ever.

The 20% Solution. Think of it as a tiny bit smaller serving of electricity.  So tiny, you’ll hardly notice. Then go look at your kids playing happily in the family room, light and warmth – by solar. Was it worth it, eliminating nuclear’s scary 20% sales-job-reason for being, just by shutting down two hallway wall switches?  However you choose to save your 20% is good. And – we’ll never meltdown.

Friday, March 25, 2011, Nuke News from Japan – is worse.


20% Solution writer Jerry Collamer – San Clemente resident, attends all SONGS / NRC public hearings held in San Clemente. Lately that’s two a year as SONGS struggles with its worst of all US nuke-plant workplace environment. Currently on their 3rd GM in one year? Whistle-blowing SONGS employees voice publicly, SONGS internal woes. After each SONGS / NRC public airing, this writer leaves the Hearing room more frightened than when he sat downHis fervent wish: NRC make Edison hold SONGS to its original end date – 2013, before the other nuke shoe falls, as happened in Japan. SONGS’ dire location: in the earth’s ring-of-fire global earthquake zone, mirrors Fukushima Japan: old nuke plant – at water’s edge – adjacent to three major earthquake faults, filled with spent fuel rods cooling, according to expert seismologists could shake rattle and roll anytime. Collamer’s “Scariest Workplace in America” can be found at wilderutopia.com and or counterpunch.com

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One Comment

  1. Peggy Karp

    Hello Jerry,

    Yesterday I read an op-ed in the NY Times by Nassrine Azimi about how the Japanese people are talking about finding alternative sources for the 30 percent of their electricity that’s generated by nuke plants.That gave me the idea of starting an anti-nuclear movement here and calling it the 20 percent solution. Wondering if anyone else had had the same idea I did a google search and came up with your article, which I thought was terrific. If I actually manage to do some organizing around this idea, this is just to let you know that I didn’t plagiarize your idea–just a case of great minds thinking alike:)

    The NY Times op ed is at

    Thanks for all you’re doing to promote safe sources of energy and expose the lie that we need nuclear power. My daughter lives in Big Sur so my interest is very personal but—we all live in Japan. No nukes!

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